Take Your Dog

Take Your Dog

In the mood to spend a day exploring but only have a few free hours?  Why? Because there is no one to let the dog out.  Ever happened to you? We love our dog, but he does cramp our style. When there have been weeks where it seems like he has been alone too much – or we just find ourselves with a full free day and want to run around without having to stop back home mid-day, we find a way to bring him along. It’s a little more work but can definitely lead to a fun and different way to spend the day. Luckily there are many places these days that allow dogs.  I’ve had good luck at local restaurants and breweries or wineries with outdoor seating, parks of course; ice cream shops, coffee shops, farmer’s markets, outdoor concerts and sometimes an outdoor tourist attraction (like a walking tour – self-guided or not). A few tips to make for an easy day: Call ahead to make sure your pup is allowed. Combine a variety of activities – some food, some walking, maybe just some hanging out Check the weather – nothing worse than a wet dog in the car! Be a good dog owner – bring along water and poop bags and pick up after your dog Ready for an example?  If you live in the Indianapolis area, here is a fun day with your dog: The day must start with coffee, right?  Luckily most coffee and bagel shops are happy to have your dog join you. Once everyone is fully charged, a little walking seemed like...
An Adventurous Day in St. Louis

An Adventurous Day in St. Louis

A big thanks to Bi-State Development and Explore St. Louis for sponsoring this trip. All suggestions and opinions are 100% my own. Ready for another adventurous day in St. Louis? Hopefully, you’ve planned your trip to the Arch and a fun day of Blues and BBQ in St. Louis. Don’t let your adventures end there, spend another day in the city exploring St. Louis’s newest attraction along with one of the most unusual. Personally I love a beautiful old train station, but unfortunately in many cities, as train travel has dramatically decreased, the old stations start to deteriorate from lack of interest and use. Instead of letting this happen to Union Station in St. Louis, the city has decided to completely revitalize the entire area with a new 100,00+ square foot aquarium and several other fun activities. Once completed, visitors will easily be able to spend a day enjoying it all. The aquarium is set to open later this year (2019) and I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the construction. With multiple touch tanks (stingrays!), and 43 other exhibits including otters and a super cool shark tank, this aquarium will be entertaining for visitors of all ages. After talking to the folks immersed in creating this new experience, I learned a few things that will set the St. Louis aquarium apart from aquariums of similar size.   First, the aquarium is housed inside a historic building – tell me that wasn’t a challenge? So it’s automatically going to have a very different vibe than a standard aquarium. Secondly, the focus is on customer experience –  there...
Beach Vacation Essentials

Beach Vacation Essentials

Are you lucky enough to be heading to the beach this Spring or Summer? We just finished a wonderful stay in Florida on the beach and plan on heading back to another Florida beach this summer. Although there are certain things I always pack wherever we travel, I’ve found that adding a few extra items specifically for beach vacations makes them much more enjoyable. Ready to pack your bags? Beach Basics. These are the no-brainers, yet somehow if I don’t have a list, I tend to forget them (there’s been more than one run to the store for bathing suits before …). Bathing suits, sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, flip flops, beach towels. Even if you forget everything else, you can have a fun beach day with these essentials.   Fun Extras. Sand toys, beach chairs, a ball to kick or throw (volleyball, soccer ball and/or football), a beach umbrella, beach games (our friends brought EastPoint Sports Folding Disc Slam Spike Ball Game – Features Durable, Weather Resistant Material – Includes 2 Disc Slam Targets and 1 Flying Disc and washers and both were a big hit), rafts or noodles. If we are driving I’ll throw some or all of these extras in the car. If we fly, I’ve found that a quick trip to the dollar store can take care of this category for very little money. On our last day, we will give them to another family at the same resort or ask the resort if they’d like them for guests. Tasty snacks. Even if you are flying, consider packing a soft-sided cooler in your bag – I usually just...
Find A Festival

Find A Festival

Fall is Festival season in Indiana.  There are easily a dozen festivals around the state every weekend.  Which means there is always something fun to do. If we can’t get away for a full weekend, spending a few hours at a festival can really feel like a little getaway.  We have our favorites of course that we try to get to each year, but it’s also fun to find new ones.  Although I’ll share in this post a little more about how to find festivals, I have to admit I love it when we stumble across one – especially when traveling – so fun! However, if you have limited time, you can’t just assume you’ll find something.  You need to know what’s out there.  Here are some tips: Use the visitors’ bureau website.  There is almost always an event calendar so click on that, pick the dates you are free and see what’s happening.  I always do this while traveling too – you never know what might be going on while you are vacationing. Request a brochure.  Many states have guides that specifically list festivals by season.  Indiana has an amazing one that shares all the festivals throughout the entire state by month for the full year.  I keep a copy on my desk and on Thursday or Friday morning I’ll thumb through it and see what’s nearby. Ask around.  Ask your friends, families, and co-workers if they know of any fun festivals.  They might not know of an upcoming one, but they probably have a favorite or two, so you can look up the info and put them...
Goat Yoga and Dining Downtown

Goat Yoga and Dining Downtown

What a fun day we had in Franklin, IN.  After a restful night’s sleep, we got a jump start on the day by hitting up the local Farmer’s Market.  Most towns have a weekly Farmer’s Market (often on Saturday), so when we travel I always do a little research ahead of time to scout them out.  It’s a fun way to meet the locals (and ask for recommendations!) and if we are staying at a location with a kitchen, it’s the perfect time to stock up on fresh food.  Franklin’s Farmer’s Market runs from 8 – 12 on Saturdays and has a dedicated spot right on the edge of downtown.  We enjoyed checking it out and picked up some tasty kombucha while we were there. I loved these little red wagons that you could use to load up  your goodies (or maybe your kids!): Next on the agenda was Farm Animal Yoga.  Yep, you read that right.  It’s the next iteration of Goat Yoga.  Which is also a real thing.  This may have been my favorite part of the weekend (although the Artcraft was a close second).  Tagalong Farms has been doing goat yoga for a while now and decided to improve upon the experience by once in a while offering a more interesting cast of animals.  Lucky for me, the weekend we were there was one of the farm animal weekends.  It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  You get to do yoga outside with a bunch of farm animals running around.  It was awesome.   Yes, that’s a pig in front of my yoga mat.  We...

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